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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 6:34 pm | Overcast 56º

 
 
 

TV Program on Local Gangs Seeks Viewer Input

"Real Talk: A Santa Barbara Forum" will explore the issue of gangs in Santa Barbara. Here's how you can help.

How serious a problem is gang violence in Santa Barbara? Is it getting better or worse? How is it the same or different than gang issues in other communities, such as Los Angeles? Why are we hearing about it so much now? What are the causes of gang violence and what is being done about it?

These and other important questions will be the central focus of a new episode of Real Talk: A Santa Barbara Forum on the Santa Barbara Channels, when a panel of experts and community leaders meet to discuss “Gangs in Santa Barbara,” as well as possible solutions and outreach efforts. Viewer questions are encouraged to be e-mailed by Tuesday to [email protected]

The panelists for this episode include Matt Sanchez, executive director of All For One Youth Mentorship Program; Santa Barbara police Officer Aaron Baker of SBPD’s Gang Team; a former Santa Barbara gang member who will speak to some of the issues of at-risk youth; and Gloria Sanchez, case worker for the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Jerry Roberts, publications director at UCSB will moderate. The program will be recorded Wednesday and will begin airing in less than a week on Channel 21.

Click here for more information on the nonprofit Santa Barbara Channels, which manages public access television channels 17 and 21.

— Hap Freund is executive director of the Santa Barbara Channels.

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